Monday, July 14th (my 14th birth on the 14th after my 13th birth on the 13th-woah).
Mama texts me at 8:04am. She’s been having contractions since 3:15am, lasting about 90 seconds, 9-17 minutes apart. Says she will call in a bit.
No word from her so I call at 10am and she said things had slowed down. Some were shorter, and she was having some long breaks.
I call to check in at 5:20pm. Partner answers her phone (good sign!). She says they’re more consistent again, contractions 5-7 min apart and lasting at least 90 seconds. She’s not quite ready for more support, but we decide she will be ready in the next couple of hours.
Partner calls me at 6:09pm and says she’s ready for more support.
I arrive at 6:39pm.
This first-time mama is smiling and talking in between contractions. They’re just a little over 5 min apart and are nice and long. She’s lying in bed on her left side, iPad and iPhone within arms reach. When a contraction starts, she puts in her ear buds to listen to Tibetan monks chant OM. She later tells me that she was focusing on their breathing, and was visualizing hands coming up over her uterus and pushing down. She is completely calm and quiet. I apply some counter pressure during contractions and light massage in between.
The contractions are coming a bit faster. We are just about at 511 (contractions every five minutes, lasting at least one minute, for one hour) so I think it’s time to call the midwives and get in the car (birth center is about 30 minutes away, traffic willing). Partner starts to pack the car. I suggest that mama have a couple contractions standing up to see if anything changes. She does and immediately has three whopping contractions with maybe 2 minutes in between. She lays back down and we call the midwives.
Mama says she felt queasy after a contraction and requests something to vomit in, just in case. She also makes one tiny comment about feeling a bit pushy at the end of one contraction, but I’m sure that’s not possible (oh dear).
I decide not to take my car and ride to the birth center with mama.
We get mama up to head to the car. This involves walking across the apartment and down a full flight of stairs. She starts contracting every minute. Partner and I start to get nervous. I’m guessing it was around 7:45pm.
Mama is on her knees in the backseat with her arms draped over the top of the seat, facing the rear of the car. She’s contracting every one to two minutes and starts vocalizing through contractions.
Mama remarks that she’s feeling contractions in her “intestines.” Then she says “butt hole” and I freak out. I tell her to lie on her side, hoping this will relieve the pressure. Moments later, she starts pushing involuntarily and her water breaks. On the freeway. I tell her to try not to push and to blow through the contractions. She takes direction beautifully.
Partner and I struggle to find the address of the birth center (it’s in my phone which is somewhere in my bag but I’m a little busy). Mama gives partner directions between contractions (!) and is very adamant that she does NOT want to hear the voice of the GPS. Love labor logic!
I am praying that one of the midwives has arrived to the center before us. After the craziest 45 minutes of my life, we arrive to the center and one of the midwives had arrived and had had just enough time to strip the bed and put chux pads on the bed.
Mama strips and lays on her right side.
The second midwife arrives and mama is checked. She’s complete and baby is +2 station (holy crap!). So mama can push, which we have to remind her of a few times because she was so focused on not giving birth in the car (bless you, mama & Clementine).
I believe we arrived at the center at 8:39pm. Clementine was born at 9:08pm.
Mama caught her baby.
Partner cut the cord.
Clementine cried right away and required zero suction. Perfect.
Partner ate a Snickers and called all loved ones. He kept saying, “It’s a done deal!”
Mama ate half of a protein bar, and downed a Naked juice and two Pellegrinos.
And as we hung out on the birth bed, watching Clementine enjoy her first meal, we heard the most magical sound on the skylights above. It was raining for the first time in months. Mother Nature, you are so so good.